Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is a little blurry after a four-day weekend.
News of the week
Multihyphenate chef-food writer-TV presenter Gizzi Erskine’s multihyphenate food hall- “creative market”-delicatessen-café-wine-shop Mare Street Market is open. Although not entirely. But the stuff that isn’t open is coming soon.
We did it. Our first week done. Thank you all for coming down. We were heaving and you guys filled the place with the most brilliant atmosphere. You turned up in your thousands and we served hundreds of you a day. We weren’t expecting so many of you. Good grief that was intense, and challenging with relentless problems popping up all over the place, but you persevered and understood and we are so grateful for that. This, I think it’s fair to say, was probably the hardest soft launch in history. We have the most fantastic team of people working with us @marestreetmarket and they have actually made this, complex and unique operation work. And it does work. There are too many to shout out to and everyone involved in the project has gone to the ends of the earth . But I have to give special thanks to @wallythecat1 @philthyfood @drewsnaith @jenwake @tomhaydon and the man who’s wearing it mostly @way_master THANK YOU. We now have a day to reset and will be closed but open, all except the main restaurant for real this Wednesday. I cannot wait.
Feed-clogging event / season’s eatings of the week
A radical theory: Easter, not Christmas, is the biggest Instagram event of the year. It’s got the lot: chocolate, eggs, chocolate eggs, pastel colours, seasonal ingredients, a flexible enough culinary brief to allow for some genuine invention in the kitchen rather than boring prescribed roast turkey with all the trimmings.
Nothing on Instagram says “Easter” more unambiguously than the hot cross bun. Seriously, they were everywhere this year: in Michelin-starred restaurants, infused with Earl Grey, turned into babka, turned into croissants, turned into bacon sandwiches. And in every post, the central element of Christian iconography was there, resplendent. Without getting too deep into philosophical musing, it’s fun to ponder if Instagram is itself a form of religion: we speak of followers, after all. Were the disciples the original @IGBrunchClub? Was eternal salvation the original #squadgoals? Was the Last Supper the original pop-up? Was Jesus… the original influencer?
TV pitch of the week
Put them in front of a camera, start filming?
Nightmare hellscape of the week
Restaurant replying to critic of the week
Great review from @telegraph telegraph, expert food critic @michaelpdeacon. Not every journalist has the guts to share your love for “pizza hut: maximum cheese, maximum meat, maximum salt, maximum fat, maximum grease. Proper, unashamed, no punches-pulled JUNK. Unabashed trash. I love it” We understand your 2 stars rating for our new restaurant, but very proud of not being able to sarisfy your taste
Call to action menu [clap emoji] of the week
All hail this amazing food for one night only. Don’t miss it.
Props of the week
Dish and shot of the week
Well it was Easter, after all.